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Short Film about Sugar Production and Agriculture, 1960s – Film 1009850


This film is available to license from our website at Huntley Film Archives, by searching for film 1009850 in our Film # search bar:

A short film detailing how sugar is produced from both sugar cane and sugar beet plantations 1960’s.
Workers on a sugarcane plantation, they cut the long stems of the sugar cane with hatchets or scythes. A sugarcane plant silhouetted against a blue sky. Sugarbeets or sugar beet in the ground it’s tall leaves wave gently in the breeze. Tinned foods that contain sugar are displayed on a counter, they include jelly, ice cream, condensed milk? Tinned pineapple rings and some other food items. Plate or serving dish with a paper doily on, it is covered in a variety of biscuits including bourbons, custard creams and party rings. Sugary fizzy drinks and alcohol, the narrator observes that sugar is an ‘essential part of our diet’, glass bottles of Fanta, coca cola or coke, a stoppered bottle of grand Marnier, a casket of wine, and some other drinks in bottles. A plate of cakes and buns, iced buns, custard tarts, Bakewell tarts, fairy or cupcakes and a large jam roly-poly. Animated world map, the areas that are most suited to growing sugar cane are highlighted, then the areas that are best for sugar beets.
A vast sugarcane plantation, mountains visible in the foggy background. A low angle close up of a sugar cane plant against a blue sky. Close up of a stem of the sugar cane grass. The cut end of a sugar cane, a knife pierces the end, revealing where the sugar is processed from. Aerial shot of the Ruaha river in Tanzania, East Africa, the shot then fades into a view of a sugar estate or plantation from above. Cane fields, row upon row of spiky sugar canes. A sign reading KILOMBERO SUGAR ESTATE, a young man sits cross legged beneath the sign, a land rover or jeep speeds by towards the plantation. A pan around the estate, the narrator observes that it has it’s own school, shops and residential area as well as a factory, the outside of these building are seen, water towers and a car park sit outside a large factory building. Sugar cane in fields. More views of sugar cane, the irrigation system at work, huge jets of water spray out over the sugar cane like sprinklers, the water has been pumped from a river nearby.
More shots of the sugar cane fields, the narrator explains that most sugar cane is grown from cuttings. Workers standing amongst the sugar cane, they are dwarfed by the tall plants that grow around them, the men use machetes to cut down the sugar cane stems and strip their leaves. A worker heaves a bundle of cut sugar cane onto his shoulder and slowly walks off. The two men throw their cut sugar cane onto a pile of cut stems that have been made nearby, one man clambers on top of the pile in order to place his load carefully on top. A tractor with a self loading trailer attached to the back of it, the sugar cane pile is slowly winched onto the back of the trailer. The tractor drives off over the bumpy, leaf covered ground.
A change of scene now, and we focus on sugar beets and their production – a field covered with a vast sea of sugar beets. A man wearing a suit walks into the field of sugar beets, he pulls one up and out of the ground by it’s leaves, he holds it up for the camera. Close up of the sugar beet being held in the man’s hands, it resembles a thick parsnip or turnip in appearance, and is covered in mud and debris, the man gently spins the beet showing off the thick leaves which can be used to feed cattle. Great over the shoulder or drivers point of view shot from onboard a tractor as it moves through the sugar beet fields. We are in Thetford, England, U.K. A farmer ploughs the field, sewing seeds and spraying pesticides from a tractor. Close up of the seeds being sown from the back of the harvester, the seeds are placed into deep furrows. Sugar beets being pulled by hand. Combine harvester at work in a field of sugar beet, they lift the beets and cut the leaves from adjoining rows of crops. Close up of a sugar beet with it’s top leaves removed sitting forlornly in the field. The combine harvester and a trailer driving beside it move slowly towards the camera, the combine harvester can be seen shooting the harvested sugar beets up and into the trailer that drives beside it…

Huntley Film Archives is a film library holding tens of thousands of films. The large majority of the films are documentaries. Films cover a wide range of subjects and production dates range from the 1890’s to the 2020’s. As with all libraries we make no judgement on the content of our holdings and make them available for educational purposes for all to see. Films may have content or express opinions some may think inappropriate or offensive, but it is not the work of a library to censor educational resources. Films should be viewed with historical objectivity and within a context relevant to the times in which they were produced


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